The European council unlike the European community does not have any official powers vested upon it by the different treaties of the union. This council is however made up by the presidents or heads of government and states of countries which are member to the union. As such, the council holds some considerable power which is not delegated to the supranational institutions of the union. The European Union like the European community also appoints a president and the appointment is based solely of parliament’s elections. CFSP chief is also appointed and the council’s roles becomes like the roles of the formal head of state in any country.
The council in conjunction with the parliament is the one which form the branch of legislature in the European Union. The council is usually composed of national ministers while an election is carried out to elect the parliament. The relationship between the council and the national ministers differ in most of the sensitive areas and areas which have a greater control of the ministers deciding such issues. Where such matters are subjected to the supranational European community, both the council and the parliament are granted equal powers to amend, reject or pass any legislation.
This function is just like that of any other federal government making the European treaty more of a political project to take control of the European region with the higher powers within this union taking the control (Bomberg, Peterson & Stubb, 2008). The European Union is based on treaties which grant it the power to control the region as well as to pass different laws regarding the European region. Numerous treaties have been formulated with existing ones being amended. The treaties forms the union’s constitutions as well as they grant the different institutions of the union their powers.
In the recent past, the amendments on the treaties as well as introduction of new treaties have led to the transfer of more power to the European Union and the European community. This led to greater control of the union on the member’s states thus reducing their independence. Between the years 1993 and the year 2003 for example, the European Union formulated the justice and home affairs treaty and also the judicial and police cooperation in criminal matters instituting a common security policy and common foreign (Blair, 2005).
Laws which are formulated by the European Union (especially due to the various treaties) supersede the laws which are formulated by the national governments. This was evident in the Factortame’s case which confirmed the European Union’s law is supreme over the national laws in all the areas where European Union has competence. Though this decision was faced with numerous issues one of which regarded the intention of the union to erode the supremacy of the parliament, the law was still passed later on giving the union more supremacy over all its allies.
The union can formulate three types of legislative laws which are binding. The union has the power to pass a regulation which then directly becomes an applicable law within the region, it can also issue a directive which forms a framework of aims and objectives upon which all other national laws must be grounded on with an aim of meeting the objectives or aims of the union and lastly, the European union can also make a decision which is meant to apply to particular issues. As such, the European Union has taken over the governance of the member states and its thus more of a political project rather than an economic project.
In the United States for example, the federal government retains the power to make final jurisdictions concerning certain issues. Though the states have their own jurisdictions, such jurisdictions cannot supersede the jurisdiction of the federal government. This is the same scenario exhibited by the European Union and as such the union is moving towards political union. Also, in an economic integration, a union formed only has legislative powers relating to trade and economic development within its region and such powers do not stretch in such a manner that the individual states lose their jurisdiction powers (Thomson, Stokman & Achen, 2006).
The form of the elections held while election the European parliament also approves that debate that the European Union is more of a political project rather than an economic project. The European parliament is elected after every five years and the representatives are elected by the citizens within the union’s jurisdiction. If the European Union was an economic project, there could not be such and election by the citizens since in such integration, a parliament is not required.
Also, the issue of proportional representation in the parliament by constituencies is only found in federal and political governments. As such, the European Union is more politically inclined than economically inclined (Uhlhaas, n. d). The European Union is also characterized by the presence or operation of political parties which are only found in political settings and in trade agreements. Under the union, the member states are allowed to organize themselves to different political parties as they deem fit.
Currently there are about eleven political parties which are recognized at the European level. Since the political parties are formed by different member states, they do not operate like national parties and usually only few manifestos are developed by these parties. However, the political parties’ impact is largely felt in the European parliament although so far, no party has been able to form or hold the majority members in the European parliament. The parties form coalitions and the two largest coalitions are the ones which elects the European parliament’s president (Talani, 2004).